Can you eat carrots that look like THIS?!

In our 17 summers of buying a share in a community-sponsored agriculture farm, we’ve developed a 5-step plan for making good use of our weekly veggie crate–but our long-range planning still isn’t perfect.  When I put “carrots” on the shopping list in late summer, Daniel bought the 5-pound bag because it was the best value . . . forgetting that we’d start getting carrots from the farm very soon.  Carrots hold up pretty well for quite a while in the refrigerator, but they don’t last forever.

We got a bag of carrots, about 1/2 to 1 pound, every week for 4 weeks in a row, and we piled those bags in the veggie drawer on top of the pound or so that was left in the 5-pound bag.  Oh, yes, we were using a carrot or three, here and there, but we weren’t using them nearly as fast as they were coming in!  Our oldest carrots looked like this:

Eeewwww.  It would be easy to believe that those aren’t food anymore, at least not food for humans.  Maybe we could put them in the compost for earthworms to eat?

Actually, carrots that look like this are still mostly good to eat!  Just cut off those black spots, the leaf ends, and any parts that feel squishy.  Then scrub the carrots and peel them to remove all those whiskery roots.  (Put all of these removed parts in the compost.)

See?  After just a few minutes’ work, they look much more edible!

This little pile of carrots turned into 5 1/2 cups of grated carrot, enough to fill my food processor to the top!

Now, what will you do with all those carrots?  My favorite approach is to process them all at once, use some in a recipe right away, and grate and freeze the others for later use.  (If you want to freeze larger chunks of carrot, you’ll need to blanch them first.  Grated carrot does not need blanching; just pack it into bags and squeeze out all the air to prevent freezer-burn.)

The plastic bags found inside boxes of cereal and crackers can be reused as freezer bags! Just leave plenty of slack to roll over at the top, and secure with a rubber band.

Here are some great ways to eat carrots!  Some of them work only with raw carrots:

All of these can be made starting with raw carrots or with carrots you’ve frozen and then thawed:

If you leave your carrots in chunks instead of grating them, roasting is a delicious option! Simply toss them with oil and any seasonings you care to use, spread in a single layer on a pan with sides, and bake at 425F, stirring every 10 minutes, until nicely browned. While you’re at it, why not roast all your root vegetables? See my article at Kitchen Stewardship for 7 delicious meals made with roasted veggies!Easy tips for using roasted vegetables. Roast them once and enjoy them in new ways each day!

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